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Work and Save 101

Today, a secure retirement is out of reach for millions of Americans, especially those who work for themselves or small businesses. Half of all households are at risk of not even being able to handle everyday expenses in retirement.

  • Nearly half (55 million) of American workers have no access to a retirement savings plan through their employers.
  • The average Social Security benefits for a 65+ family is only about $18,000 a year, while older American families on average spend $20,000 a year on food, utilities, and health care alone. While Social Security is a critical piece of the puzzle, it is not enough to ensure people can live independently as they get older.

How can we make it easier for workers to save so they can take control of their future? The answer is simple - Work and Save.

Why Work and Save?

Americans are 15 times more likely to save when they can do so at work.  Work and Save makes it easier for businesses to offer employees a way to save out of their regular paychecks, helping them take charge of their financial futures and live independently as they age.

  • It’s their own money that they can take with them from job to job, and rely on in later years for a more secure future.
  • Accounts are voluntary. It’s up to employees to decide if they want to participate, and how much they want to put away.
  • Contributions are made with an automatic deduction from their paychecks.
  • Giving employees a simple way to save for retirement will mean fewer Americans will need to rely on public assistance later in life, which will save taxpayer dollars.
  • Work and Save would be easy for employers to set up, and there would be no ongoing costs or risk to the employers or the state.

Building a Stronger Future

Ten states have already signed various Work and Save programs into law, and nearly 40 states are considering ways to address financial insecurity in retirement. Learn more about AARP efforts and what is happening in your state at